Match Report: M55 - KKR vs SRH

KKR qualify for Playoffs after spinners strangle SRH at Eden

Mumbai 22 May 2016
KKR’s bowlers used the lack of pace on the surface at the Eden Gardens to strangle the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen, leading their team to a 22-run victory on Sunday evening. In the penultimate league match of VIVO IPL 2016, KKR posted 171-6 riding on the back of a stroke-filled partnership between Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan, and then restricted the visitors to 149-8. The result meant KKR became the third team to seal a Playoff berth and shut the door on the Mumbai Indians’ chances of defending their title.

Having been asked to bat, KKR were off the blocks in a flash. Opening batsman Robin Uthappa pounced on the short and wide offerings from the SRH bowlers early on, pierced the off-side field, and helped himself to four boundaries in the first seven balls of the match. KKR had raced to 33 in 3.3 overs when Uthappa miscued a Barinder Sran cutter, to be caught at point; he was dismissed for 25, made from 17 deliveries.

Colin Munro, sent in at number three, and Gautam Gambhir, became Deepak Hooda’s victims as KKR slipped to 57-3 in the eighth over. Then came the resurrection through a belligerent partnership between Pandey and Pathan who added 87 runs in eight overs. Both batsmen hit boundaries early on, before taking the consolidation approach; Pathan picked up a boundary off the second ball he faced, while Pandey hit Karn Sharma for consecutive sixes through midwicket early on in his innings. After three quiet overs, the pair broke the shackles with both batsmen picking up a boundary each off Mustafizur Rahman. In the following over – 14th of the innings, the leg-spinner Karn was at the receiving end once again as the pair plundered 19 runs.

The pair were separated in the 16th over when Pandey (48 from 30 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes) threw his bat at a wide full toss from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, only for Kane Williamson to pouch a sharp catch at point. With that breakthrough, SRH pulled things back in the last quarter of the innings. They kept a well-set Yusuf Pathan away from strike, giving him to face only 9 of the final 24 deliveries. KKR added only 30 runs in the final five overs, while also losing three wickets, to finish at 171-6. Yusuf Pathan, who hit three fours and two sixes in his 34-ball innings, remained unbeaten on 51.

For the visitors, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after conceding 13 runs in his first over, redeemed himself bowling three tidy overs to finish with figures of 4-0-31-2. Deepak Hooda too picked up two wickets in the two overs he bowled. Sran (1-31) and Mustafizur Rahman (1-32) were the other wicket-takers for the visitors. The leg-spinner Karn Sharma had a forgettable outing, conceding 39 runs in his three overs.
KKR began their defense with a disciplined bowling effort. They thrust their spinners into action upfront, strangled the dangerous David Warner with a packed off-side field and bowled to their field. Though the left-hander hit a six and a four, the need to manufacture a shot saw him lose his stumps to Sunil Narine in the fourth over.

Shikhar Dhawan kept SRH in the hunt with a well-compiled half-century; he scored nearly two-thirds of his runs backward of square on the leg-side – converting leg-stump half-volleys to boundaries, and sweeping and pulling Narine and Holder respectively for sixes. In the twelfth over, Dhawan powerfully swept one from Kuldeep Yadav, but hit it down the throat of Colin Munro who didn’t have to move an inch at the midwicket boundary; Dhawan was dismissed for 51, made from 30 balls.

From 86 for 1 just before Dhawan was dismissed, SRH collapsed to 117-6 in the 16th over, and eventually finished at 149-8. The numbers might not suggest that, but SRH were never really in the hunt given how poorly they played the spinners; Yuvraj Singh’s 19 – which contained two crisply struck sixes and a sweetly timed boundary – was the second-highest score in the SRH innings. The 58-run second wicket stand between Dhawan and Naman Ojha was the highest of the innings.

Not surprisingly, given the conditions, the KKR spinners ruled the roost; Sunil Narine was the most successful bowler for the hosts, returning with figures of 3-26, while Kuldeep Yadav and Shakib al Hasan picked up two wickets and one wicket respectively. Together, the three spinners bowled a total of 33 dot balls and returned with combined figures of 12-0-88-6.

Brief Scores

Kolkata Knight Riders 171-6 in 20.0 Overs (Manish Pandey 48, Yusuf Pathan 52*, Deepak Hooda 2-16, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-31) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 149-8 in 20.0 Overs (Shikhar Dhawan 51, Sunil Narine 3-23, Kuldeep Yadav 2-28) by 22 runs.

Man of the Match: Yusuf Pathan for his 52* off 34 balls
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